The University Record, March 11, 1997

Arbor Drugs founder Applebaum pledges $1.2 million to advance entrepreneurial studies

By Keith Decie
Business School

Eugene Applebaum, chairman, president and founder of Arbor Drugs Inc., has given $1.2 million to the Business School, to be used to establish an endowed professorship dedicated to studying and teaching entrepreneurship. The gift from one of Michigan's most renowned philanthropists comes at a time when entrepreneurial studies are gaining in popularity around the country and at the Business School, with nearly half of the School's M.B.A. students taking at least one class from its offerings in entrepreneurship.

Over the past five years, the Business School has been expanding its capabilities in entrepreneurship, offering study and hands-on skill development through a flexible set of courses that cuts across disciplines to explore issues related to the founding, funding and growing of a business. The special track draws on the School's strengths in each of the business disciplines and applies those learnings to entrepreneurship. It includes applied project work with area small businesses. Last year, for the first time, the School also funded student internships in entrepreneurial companies as a result of the efforts of an entrepreneurial business advisory board it created in 1994.

"It is vital to the future of this state that the brightest and best academic talent be attracted and retained to train those seeking careers in business," Applebaum says. "I am deeply committed to encouraging the next generation of entrepreneurs to stay in Michigan, build their companies in our communities and provide leading-edge jobs for our children and grandchildren."

Business School Dean B. Joseph White says the School will name the new endowed chair the Eugene Applebaum Professorship in Entrepreneurial Studies, pending the Regents' approval.

"This chair is a major development for our program in entrepreneurial studies," White says. "This professorship will advance significantly our efforts to prepare students to operate independently and effectively. This is a vital area for our School and a vital area for the future of American business. I am deeply grateful for this generous and important support. It's also exciting to receive such a gift from Eugene Applebaum, whose personal and business success I admire greatly. That alone is an important boost to the students in our program."